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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
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Don’t let dumb comments derail discipline

Supervisors sometimes say things they shouldn’t. Don’t let those minor screw-ups derail discipline that’s clearly deserved.

Disabled employees entitled to return to work, but not someone else’s job

Disabled employees seeking to return to work may be entitled to an open position for which they are qualified. But when is a position considered open?

Disciplining disabled worker for absenteeism? Make sure she knows your rules

It is essential to grant FMLA leave when eligible employees need it. At the same time, it is perfectly legal to require employees to follow specific procedures for using leave. Just make sure employees understand those rules.

Explain why you’re adding essential functions

Business needs or employees’ personal circumstances sometimes change, necessitating a revision of a job’s essential functions to include additional tasks or qualifications. What happens if that means the incumbent holding the job can no longer perform those essential functions—especially if she’s disabled?

ADA & FMLA: Absence does not make the heart grow fonder

A federal court in Texas has concluded that attendance can be considered an essential function of a job. A disabled worker who can’t make it to work with some regularity simply isn’t qualified; no amount of accommodation can fix that problem.

Beaumont, Texas firm sued for firings based on costly medical risk

Signature Industrial Services, a refinery services company in Beaumont, faces an EEOC lawsuit after it fired three brothers, allegedly because they have hemophilia.

Suddenly stopped informal accommodations? Get ready to defend decision in court

Disabled employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations that allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Employers cannot simply develop a list of one-size-fits-all accommodations for a particular condition.

Ensure fair treatment after return to work

The ADA and the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act protect disabled workers from harassment based on their disability. Make sure everyone, including co-workers and supervisors, understands they cannot punish a disabled employee for taking leave.

Document all efforts to find ADA accommodations

If an employee tells you he has a new medical condition that qualifies as an ADA disability, document all discussions you have about possible accommodations.

Employee fired shortly after filing complaint? Brace yourself for a retaliation lawsuit

An employee who complains about perceived discrimination may be wrong, but filing a complaint still counts as protected activity. If she files an EEOC complaint or a lawsuit, firing her shortly after she complains is just asking for a retaliation claim.